Minor Rear-Ender Defense

It was raining hard, and a young college student was driving down a main road in Bothell, Washington when he failed to notice a car suddenly stopped ahead. He slammed on his brakes but skidded into the rear of the stopped car. Damage to the rear of the stopped car appeared to be limited solely to a dented license plate holder. There was no damage to the student's car. The woman in the struck vehicle, however, began complaining of significant injuries. She ran up over $16,000 in chiropractic bills. She convinced a psychiatrist that she was suffering from cognitive dysfunction requiring in-patient care. She claimed she could no longer work in her own business as a ceramics instructor and had not done so for the three years between the accident and the time of trial. Trying the case to a jury in Snohomish County, Rick Lowell was able to get the plaintiff's own psychiatrist to change his opinion and testify that the woman's complaints pre-dated the accident. Coupled with other inconsistencies unveiled at trial, not to mention a blow-up of the damage to the woman's car, Rick convinced the jury to return a verdict of $0 in a case of admitted liability.